President Uhuru Kenyatta has sent a message of condolence to his Zanzibar counterpart Hussein Mwinyi and the people of the autonomous region of Tanzania following the death of its First Vice President Seif Sharif Hamad.
VP Hamad died aged 77 on Wednesday while undergoing treatment at Muhimbili Hospital.
His death was confirmed by President Mwinyi, who said, “At around 5am this morning, Maalim Seif passed away. Maalim died while undergoing treatment at Muhimbili Hospital where he had been admitted since February 9”.
It is suspected he died of Covid-19.
He was the chairman of the main opposition Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT-Wazalendo) in the Tanzanian archipelago, which joined the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi to form a government of national unity after the controversial 2020 October elections.
Tanzanian President John Magufuli — who has said there is no Covid-19 in Tanzania —sent his condolences to Hamad’s family and residents of Zanzibar.
“I have sadly received the news of the death of Hon Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad, First Vice President of Zanzibar. I send my condolences to the President of Zanzibar Hon. Dr. Mwinyi, Family, Zanzibaris, ACT-Wazalendo members and all Tanzanians. May his soul rest in peace, Amen,” President Magufuli tweeted.
The VP was admitted to Mnazi Mmoja Hospital on February 1 and he confirmed he had tested positive for Covid-19.
He became the first person in Tanzania to publicly reveal a Covid-19 status since April last year, when President Magufuli declared the country coronavirus-free.